Three weeks ago in Wellington, long-time Te Awamutu resident Marcia Bayley was inducted into the Equestrian New Zealand Hall of Fame.
Marcia has contributed decades to the sport of equestrian – particularly dressage – as an official, competitor, supporter and mentor to many.
From the early days she shone, and is considered one of the true pioneers of her discipline in New Zealand, forging a pathway for many others to follow.
A top competitor, she was the winner of the first grand prix test in New Zealand, and went on to great success in Australia, helping the New Zealand team to victory in the first official transtasman test and making the podium in the grand prix at the Australian champs.
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She has won the Burkner Medal at the New Zealand national championships six times, including four in a row.
She is an A-level judge, technical delegate, an FEI list 2 steward, and a national steward. Her dedication to dressage has been unwavering.
It was with her lovely grey horse Kentucky that she won New Zealand's first grand prix test back in 1986, and won the Burkner Medal from 1986-1989. She qualified Kentucky for the inaugural World Equestrian Games in Stockholm in 1990, but due to the prohibitive cost of transporting horses to Europe, was unable to attend.
Marcia and her next mount Rubicon were regular entrants in the Prix St Georges in the early days of the FEI Dressage World Challenge.
Since these competitive days, Marcia has become a well-qualified official who has served time on the national judges committee, been an active, hard-working and highly valued member of Dressage Waikato, donated trophies, mentored riders, held clinics, and has become one of the most familiar and formidable faces around the dressage arena.
In 2012, Dressage NZ presented her with the Fissenden Trophy for outstanding contribution to the Sport.